As a reminder to never assume victory, here’s a video history of the Penguins’ playoff losses to the New York Islanders. Each was excruciating.
*In 1975, the Penguins blew a three-games-to-none series lead and lost to the Islanders in the quarterfinals. Game 7 ended 1-0. It marked the second time, to that point, that such a deficit got overcome. This broke many hearts, not least that of a 14-year-old from Reserve Township.
*In 1982, the Penguins led the final game of the best-of-five first-round series, 3-1, with less than six minutes left. The Islanders won 4-3 in overtime. The Islanders won four Stanley Cups from 1980-83. That was the only time they faced elimination.
*In 1993, the two-time defending Stanley Cup champ Penguins finished with a league-high and franchise-record 119 points. The Islanders eliminated them in the second round, winning Game 7 by a 4-3 score in OT. That might have been the Penguins’ best team ever.
*In 2019, things went to ***t. The Penguins got swept. It was a debacle.
Take nothing for granted.